Viraj Profiles Aims at Becoming One-Stop Shop for Stainless Steel Long Products - Wire & Cable India
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Viraj Profiles Aims at Becoming One-Stop Shop for Stainless Steel Long Products

Leading manufacturers and exporters of stainless steel long products, Viraj Profiles Private Limited, having a melting capacity of 636000 tonnes per annum and turnover of USD 1.5 billion per annum, wants to become the one-stop shop for stainless steel long products. This was revealed by Mr. Neeraj Raja Kochhar, Chairman & Managing Director of Viraj Profiles Private Limited, during his interaction with the Wire & Cable India magazine.

viraj profiles
Mr. Neeraj Raja Kochhar, Chairman & Managing Director of Viraj Profiles Private Limited

Wire & Cable India: Please share your views on the Indian vis-a-vis the global steel wire industry. What is the role of the Indian government in the growth of this sector?

Neeraj Raja Kochhar: The global steel wire industry has experienced robust growth in recent years, and the trend continues post-pandemic too. The significant increase in application of stainless steel wires across various industries and sectors like construction, automobile, manufacturing and engineering is a primary reason for this visible growth. Certain reports indicate that the Global Steel Wire market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7 percent till 2030. Asia PAC can be considered a major contributor to the number with growing markets like India undergoing rapid infrastructure development, industry expansion and urbanization.

The Indian government is playing a supportive role in the sector of secondary and green steel, which adds to the growth of the stainless steel wire industry as a crucial subsector. In 2019, the Government of India’s Steel Scrap Recycling Policy gave a boost to manufacturers like Viraj Profiles, who recycle and reuse stainless steel scrap to produce high quality products. With programs like Make in India, Aatmanirbhar Bharat and implementing policies and schemes like the PLI (Production-Linked Incentive) to encourage production, the Indian steel wire industry witnesses an upward graph.

WCI: What are the major ongoing challenges in the Indian steel wire industry?

NRK: Even after a positive recovery post pandemic and the demand for stainless steel wires seeing a bullish trend, the sector faces its set of challenges. The operational efficiency and growth of the sector faces hiccups that are both internal and external. The lack of research and development infrastructure, modern machinery, skilled labor and still developing transportation sector are some of the basic challenges that directly affect the quality, productivity and cost effectiveness.

viraj profiles

On the global front, the major challenge lies in cheap imports from China, Taiwan, and South Korea (specific to the wire industry). If we focus on the current scenario, the Suez Canal slowdown, the Russia Ukraine war have caused a major hindrance in the import of raw materials and dispatch of final products to international locations, especially to export-oriented units.

While businesses are better prepared, the increase in shipping costs makes it difficult to keep the costs of stainless steel wires competitive in the market. The stainless steel wire industry has seen robust growth as the demand for light, corrosion resistant and durable products, especially in the infrastructure is on rise. But like every cyclic growth, the transition also comes to a slowdown due to surplus production.

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WCI: How can these challenges of the industry be addressed? How is your company contributing towards this transition?

NRK: In the current scenario, the graphs indicate positive trends, the challenges are real too. The need of the hour for the industry is to be better prepared for disruptions, even if the challenge is short term and can improve with the change in the global socio-political situation.

In situations like surplus stock is a challenge or the focus must be on relieving businesses from undue pressure on operational margins. Our forte at Viraj Profiles lies in expanding globally with our export-oriented approach. This powers us with the expertise to explore new markets with ready stock for delivery.

In case of geo-political situations like the one going on in the Eurasia region, we consistently try to keep a balance between inventory and consumer demand. Something as simple as stocking raw material at least 90 days in advance to manage potential supply disruption without resorting to immediate price hike as a corrective measure.

WCI: Could you please take us through the business journey, milestones and achievements of your company?

NRK: Three decades of Viraj Profiles has been an interesting journey with its own set of challenges and accolades. Nurturing our vision from a small smelting shop in the early 90s to bringing Boisar on the world map, I feel proud to say that Viraj is a brand that we Make in India for the World. While wire rods and wires are a strategic business unit of Viraj Profiles, we are not limited to it. After setting roots in 1992 with a smelting shop; in 1995 we exported our first batch of bright bars and flanges. In 2000, we commenced operations of our profiles manufacturing division which was immediately followed by the Wire Mill in 2001, equipped with high-end automation facilities manufacturing products of globally approved quality standards.

WCI: Brief us about your specialized products and the sectors where your products find application. Please give details about your market footprint also.

viraj profiles

NRK: Viraj Profiles Private Limited is a USD 1.5 billion company based in the industrial town of Boisar in Maharashtra. In just three decades, it has made its standing as a leading manufacturer of stainless steel long products across the world. The company specializes in making stainless steel long products like wire rods, wires, welding wires, flanges, fasteners, bright bars and profiles in various grades and sizes. We produce more than 50,000 SKUs in various grades like austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex and electrode with various specifications.

Our products find application in automobile industries, food processing industries, boilers, pressure vessels, shipbuilding, oil pipelines, petrochemical facilities, construction projects, pharmaceutical, defence and marine industries, among many other means of utilization. Today, we are one of the largest exporters of stainless steel long products in India, exporting nearly 90 percent of our production. The company enjoys a robust global footprint, spread in 96 countries across six continents, serving around 1300 customers worldwide.

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